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TOPIC: Successfully Passed the PMI-ACP Exam 7/26/2019 on 1st Attempt (Summary)

Successfully Passed the PMI-ACP Exam 7/26/2019 on 1st Attempt (Summary) 4 years 2 months ago #18067

  • Steven McClaugherty
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I would like to communicate and share that I have successfully passed the PMI-ACP Exam today on 7/26/2019 on 1st Attempt.

Before I get into more details, to support OSP International / PM PrepCast (PMI-ACP) statistics, my mock exam results were as such:
- 1st Time Attempt Questions correctly answered: 69%

-Mock Exam Scores
Note: I did not do any time quizzes until I answered all questions on 1st attempt. This was to prevent any exposure to the test bank in order to establish a baseline.
Exam # / 1st Attempt Scores / 2nd Attempt Scores
#1 / 67.5% / 95.8%
#2 / 67.5% / 95.0%
#3 / 69.2% / 95.8%
#4 / 71.7% / 96.7%
Note: Be sure to not only study the questions you miss, but also the ones you get correct.

Brief Overview:
I had intentions of wanting to take the exam in 1Q/2019, but due to intense project work, I was unable to hold to my initial roadmap to complete required education and dedicate time for studying. In fact, my roadmap had to be revised 2 more times. With heavy demands at work, family, and other things that come your way in life, I continued to keep pressing forward to the goal. I wasn't looking forward to spending a good portion of the summer studying. When I took the PMP, I did all preparation during the winter since not much is happening outside. In all, I had set aside 12 weeks of study (everyday - 7 days a week) - spending anywhere from 20-30 hours a week (in the evenings after work and full days Saturday and Sunday). Looking back, I had nearly 16 days of study time impacted between being sick, travel, and other commitments. Near the end of May, I was selected as part of a group at work to undergo mandatory Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Training and certification with requirement for case study project completion, and to complete an official Lean Six Sigma project for the organization (there was no exception to delay). It is not ideal to be preparing for 2 certifications at the same time - I found myself in a state of information overload, increased mental fatigue, and pure exhaustion. Sometimes, you just have to do what you need to do. Leading up to the exam this week, I had vacation time I had to use or lose. It worked out perfectly to disconnect from work for the most part (aside from a few hours of work toward existing obligations), dedicating much time toward final preparation to take the exam. When it seems tough, never quit and give up. You will soon enough accomplish the desired result you are after.

The PMI-ACP Exam Itself:
I felt the exam was very challenging. I found that while the questions were shorter in length compared to the PMP, they were trickier with subtle differences. My strategy that I have practiced in simulator was to do 20 questions per 1/2 hour (which also included any review of markups). Typically in mock exams, I ended up with about an hour remaining of time. For the real exam, I had nearly 11 minutes left. It takes some time get settled. I believe that I had some of those "test" PMI-ACP staged questions immediately upfront as I was just marking one after another, but the key is to move on, nail down what you can, and come back to work through them. The strategy for me paid off. I did not do a brain dump. I revisited a list from the PMI-ACP PrepCast training and from other members on the forum, making sure I had that information down.

Exam Center:
- The software does not allow for a strike through. I recommend for PM PrepCast to remove the feature from the PMI-ACP Simulator on the full 120 question exams, and only allow it in quiz modes.
- Instead of paper, I was given an erasable sheet that is in a scientific/grid format layout. You may want to practice with that.
- Testing center was very nice, comfortable, professional and friendly staff.

Studying Materials:
  • Completed Agile PrepCast training to meet PMI-ACP educational requirements - STRONGLY RECOMMEND.
  • PMI-ACP Exam Simulator (this exam simulator is key to passing to establish strategy and exposure to the type of questions you could encounter) - STRONGLY RECOMMEND
  • PMI Agile Practice Guide
  • PMI-ACP Exam Prep by Mike Griffiths -- Did 120 questions from the book initially in early May, scored 67%, a month later, I did a re-take scoring 92%)
  • PMI-ACP Exam Hot Topics Flashcards (applied Lessons Learned from PMP certification - I created 800+ note flash cards last time that I did not use - buying is better and faster for me)
  • Agile Estimating and Planning by Mike Cohn (review of key topics)
  • PM Training PMI-ACP Exams (needed additional exposure to more questions - some tests were 15 questions, others 40 questions for a total of 28 exams)
  • WhizLabs PMI-ACP exams ( I took the free exam 1, 94.7%, then purchased the package, having time to do 2 more tests, exam #2 - 86.7%, exam #3 91.7%)
  • Velociteach PMI-ACP exam - used it as a final baseline of unique questions to gauge my gaps - scoring 83%. Note this exam only gave me 2 hours, 20 minutes of a full anticipated 3 hours, throwing my exam strategy off.
  • Review of Edward Chung's PMI-ACP Study notes, but be advised they are from a 2015 content outline - find relevant topics to complement understanding.
  • I continued to do small quizzes from all sources
  • In all, my roadmap was targeting 265 hours of study, which included taking mock exams and many timed quizzes. Overall time in PMI-ACP Exam Simulator was 23 hours and 52 minutes 22 seconds answering questions in the simulator.

** I believe that once the the PMI-ACP PrepCast Exam Simulator can add more mock exams (such as it has for the PMP simulator), I would have probably not sought out additional vendors for mock exams. I would encourage expanding the test bank and # of exams for the PMI-ACP.

Through review of my personal studying notes, I employed the Pomodoro Technique to do deep study and eliminate distractions.

A Lesson Learned:
I spent nearly a month hand writing notes. In all, I had created nearly 100 pages of notes. Fast forward to final exam preparation as of last Friday 7/19 evening, I am reviewing these notes and determine that I can't hardly read what I have written, and how some of the topics connect to other domains. Previously, I had discussed when taking the PMP that I best learned information by reading and writing it down in my own hand writing to retain the information. I soon discovered, that my learning changed once more. I wasn't retaining the information in that format, and found that I could have better recall with typed notes instead. I spent 21 hours from Friday 7/19 through Sunday evening 7/21 typing the notes up - trust me, my fingers felt like they were ready to fall off, consolidated down to 45 pages. I lost valuable time and would have been better off to have taken this route.

Thank you:
Thank you to Cornelius and his team for the top quality education, materials, and community that has been provided - absolutely the best!
Last edit: by Steven McClaugherty.

Successfully Passed the PMI-ACP Exam 7/26/2019 on 1st Attempt (Summary) 4 years 2 months ago #18068

  • Jenikka Ebias
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Hi Steven,

Congratulations on passing the PMI-ACP Exam! It brings us great joy learning of your recent success. Thank you for sharing your experience with us from your preparations, to taking the exam itself.

We wish you all the best in your future endeavors! :)
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